sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 27, 2021

rabbit hole
posted by soe 1:25 am

Every few years, I fall down a stupid rabbit hole of googling people I grew up with. I have refused to join Facebook for the very reason of not wanting to be in contact with most of them, so I can’t really give you a good reason for why I do it.

I grew up in a large, mostly white town that skewed conservative at the time. It’s purportedly gotten more liberal since I moved away, but its current Republican mayor was first elected when I was 10.

While Karen and I have stayed friends since our high school days, I mostly let everyone else go pretty early on. We (just) predated the internet and it was easy to drift apart as people left for college. As time has gone on, I’ve kept the distance intentionally, although Karen sometimes shares updates about people we both knew. There was just too much rampant conservatism and casual racism from what I remembered (and what Karen shared about her Facebook interactions) to want to welcome that back into my life.

So, why then do I torture myself by looking up the people I grew up with?

I had a drink with a girl I’d grown up with back before our tenth high school reunion. She had come back to attend; I lived nearby but wasn’t going. I asked her why she wanted to bother and she said that she really hoped that some of the people we’d grown up with had escaped.

I’m a little more forgiving now in middle age than I was in my 20s, but I suppose it comes down to exactly that. I check up on them because in the end I want them to have lived happy lives and to have had horizons that expanded beyond the narrow experience we grew up with.

And just often enough, I discover that one of them has.

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